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PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGES

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India is called the largest democratic country in the whole world.  Here the power to make laws exists with the Parliament and this Parliament have three parts called the President, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.  In this article, we are telling you what parliamentary privileges a Member of Parliament has.

In Article 105 of the Constitution of India, two privileges are mentioned-

  1. Freedom of speech in Parliament and 2. Right to publish the proceedings of the House.

The concept of parliamentary privilege in the Constitution of India is derived from the Constitution of Britain.  The main purpose of these privileges is to maintain the supremacy of the office of Parliament and its members.

What are parliamentary privileges? 

Parliamentary privileges are certain privileges and concessions that are available to the members of both the houses of parliament and those who participate in committees of parliament.

 Who gets parliamentary privileges?

This right is mainly given to the members of both houses of Parliament.  Apart from this, these rights are also given to those persons who speak and participate in any committee of Parliament, in which the Attorney General of India and the Union Ministers are involved.

It is necessary to state here that even though the President is a part of Parliament, he does not have parliamentary privileges.

 Purpose of Parliamentary privileges:

The purpose of these rights is to provide certain rights and immunities to the Houses, Committees and Members of Parliament for the discharge of their duties in an efficient and effective manner.  Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution refer to the immunities granted to Houses, Members and Committees of Parliament and State Legislatures respectively.

In this way, the basic sense of parliamentary privilege is to protect the dignity, independence, and autonomy of Parliament.  But this right does not absolve the Members of Parliament from their civil rights.

 Parliamentary privileges can be mainly divided into two parts:

  1. Members of Parliament collectively receive
  2. Members of Parliament use personally

 The collective privileges of Members of Parliament are as follows:

  1. No person (member or outsider) can be held captive nor any legal (civil or criminal) proceedings can be taken without permission of the Presiding Officer.
  2. No court has the right to investigate the proceedings of the House or any of its committees.
  3. Parliament can exclude guests from its proceedings and may also hold a secret meeting in some matters of national interest.
  4. In case of violation of the privileges of both the Houses of Parliament, disrespect of the House, Members of Parliament and outsiders can also be warned and punished. If the person is a member of the House, he can also be dismissed from the House.

 Personal privileges are as follows:

  1. At the time when the Parliament is in session, a Member of Parliament or a privileged person can refuse to appear in a pending case or present any evidence in any court.
  2. A Member of Parliament cannot be arrested during the proceedings of Parliament, 40 days before the commencement of the proceedings and 40 days after the close of the proceedings. This right is available only in civil cases and not criminal cases.
  3. If a Member of Parliament says something in front of the House or a committee, then no action can be taken on it in any court. Apart from this, he also has the right to speak in the House.

 The violation of parliamentary privileges is called:

If any person or officer abuses the personal or collective privileges of a Member of Parliament, such as using abusive language for them, attacking, etc., such acts are considered to be a violation of parliamentary privileges.

Thus it becomes clear from the facts given above that parliamentary privileges have been included in India so as to increase respect for Parliament in the country and respect for the people’s representatives elected by the people.  But it is a pity that after winning the election, these representatives do not only respect the public but expect the public to respect them.

Apart from this, you must have seen that the Members of Parliament are seen many times while being abusive to the officials and the public.  This is called the misuse of parliamentary privileges.  Therefore, the demand of the times is that if the rule of the people is to change the saying of ‘people for the people’, then there is a dire need to change these parliamentary privileges.

 Privileges Committee:

Cases of breach of privilege of the House are examined and the requisite recommendation is made when referred through the Speaker of the Lok Sabha by a fifteen-member committee nominated by the Speaker.  It is notable that the Committee of Privileges of Rajya Sabha consists of ten members, who are by the Chairman.

 process:

Any member may take up the matter of breach of privilege of the Member or of the House with the consent of the Speaker of Lok Sabha.  For this, the member is required to give written information to the Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha on the proposed day (10 am).  If the question is based on the document, the information is definitely attached to it.  If the information is given after 10 AM then it will be treated as 10 AM for the next day.  Only one question is allowed to be raised in a setting of the House.  The question is related to a specific case recently.  Also, questions should be such that the intervention of Parliament is necessary.

If the Speaker has given his permission to raise a matter in the House as a question of privilege, the member who has given notice, when called by the Speaker, will seek the House’s permission to raise the question of that privilege.  While seeking such permission only the concerned member is allowed to make a brief statement relevant to the question of privilege.  If an objection is made in relation to the permission, the Speaker requests the members who are in favor of granting permission to stand in their place.  Thus, if twenty-five or more members stand up, it is believed that the House has given permission to take up the matter and the Speaker declares that permission is given and if it does not happen then  The Speaker is informed by the Speaker that he has not been allowed by the House to take up the matter.

It is to be noted that permission to raise the question of privilege in the House can be sought only by the member who has given notice to the Secretary-General regarding the privilege.  No other member can be authorized by the said member in this regard.

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